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A TREATISE OF THE SIBYLS, SO HIGHLY CELEBRATED, AS WELL BY THE ANTIENT HEATHENS, AS THE HOLY FATHERS OF THE CHURCH; GIVING AN ACCOMPT OF THE NAMES, AND NUMBER OF THE SIBYLS; OF THEIR QUALITIES, THE FORM AND MATTER OF THEIR VERSES; AS ALSO OF THE BOOKS NOW EXTANT BELIEVED TO BE SIBYLINE, AND THE ERROURS CREPT INTO CHRISTIAN RELIGION, BY OCCASION THEREOF; PARTICULARLY, CONCERNING THE MIDDLE STATE OF SOULS. WRITTEN ORIGINALLY BY DAVID BLONDEL; ENGLISHED BY J. D
London: Printed by T. R. for the Authour, and are to be sold by Thomas Dring, at the George in Fleet-Street, near Clifford's-Inne, 1661. First English Language Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Expertly rebound in antique-style calf, paneled in blind, raised bands, gilt morocco label. Original binding?'s armorial bookplate of ?"Henry Peirse of Bedall in Yorkshire Esq?" retained in front pastedown. Minor toning and occasional minor foxing. Near fine. First edition in English (issue with Dring imprint), after the original French edition, published as DES SIBYLLES CELEBR√ČES... in 1649. An important work of 17th-century scholarship denying the authenticity of the Sibylline oracles and the Catholic practice of prayers for the dead. David Blondel (1591-1655) was a French Calvinist clergyman and professor of history at Amsterdam, later praised by Voltaire, Diderot, and other leading voices of the French Enlightenment. In the present work, Blondel examines the Oracula Sibyllina cited by early Church Fathers as ancient pagan anticipations of Christ and evidence for certain Christian eschatological views. The Oracula comprised twelve to fourteen books believed to record utterances of the Sibyls of ancient Greece, women associated with religious shrines who spoke in frenzied states as channels of the gods. The writings in question began experiencing renewed interest during the mid-16th century, when rediscovered manuscripts were printed for the first time in Basel and Paris. This coincided with Reformation-era controversies on the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, which the Sibylline Oracles seemed to support. In his investigations, Blondel found strong evidence for the Oracula to be later Christian forgeries, whose acceptance he discusses here as an example of human propensity for error, even among revered early Christian writers. Caillet 1235 (original edition). ESTC R223826. Wing B3220A.
      [Bookseller: W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera]
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